Adoption is a beautiful thing. Except when it hurts. Interestingly, there is much talk about the Adoption Triad – that means 3, of course. And in case you’re wondering, one of those 3 is not the birth grandparent. Somehow, the birth grandparents kind of get lost in the shuffle. Of course, just as in a family made entirely of biological children, grandparents play a secondary role in most cases. It’s the kids and the parents that are the core. Such is the case in the adoption situation. Sadly, because it’s not an Adoption Quad, it’s a little harder for birth grandparents to find the help and support they (sometimes desperately) need.
Just like other members of the adoption group, birth grandparents often feel alone and like there is no one who can really understand how they feel. It’s remarkable, really, how many people actually can relate to our feelings. It’s just finding those people that can sometimes be challenging. But once you get started, it seems like more and more opportunities to get support pop up. So here’s a small list to get you started:
- Facebook. You might not be a fan of social media, but it’s a great place to search for others in similar circumstances. Just type “Birth Grandparent” in the search bar on Facebook and you’ll see a couple of groups pop up. Generally they’re closed groups so you’ll have to request an acceptance, but the turn-around time is usually pretty fast. Once you’re in, post a question or a statement on that Facebook page and watch the friends start rolling in!
- Adoption.com Forum. Check out this forum page and see who has already been in discussions about being a birth grandparent. You’ll find that when you make yourself known people will respond with tenderness and understanding. Don’t have anything specific to ask? Just introduce yourself and let readers know that you’re just wanting a little support. Or go ahead and open up wide—share your hurts, your concerns, your hopes. Either way you’ll find a wide group of people who want to help.
- Church Leader. Meet with your pastor or other church leader. Share your feelings, and chances are you’ll be directed to others who have been in your shoes. In fact, it might surprise you—there could be others who you are actually acquainted with and didn’t know that they are birth grandparents!
- Internet Search. A quick internet search will bring you to blogs and advice columns that may address your specific needs.
So, birth grandparent, take courage. There are others out there ready to help you carry your burden, share their experiences, and be a listening ear.